Colposcopy is a procedure that gives your healthcare provider a magnified view of the cervix. It is done using a lighted microscope called a colposcope. In most cases, a sample of cervical cells is taken during a biopsy. The sample can then be studied in a lab. If any problems are found, you and your healthcare provider will discuss treatment options. Problems with the cervix can be treated best when detected early.

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Reasons for the Procedure

Colposcopy is usually done as a follow-up exam to help find the cause of an abnormal Pap test. Abnormal Pap tests are often due to an HPV (human papilloma virus) infection. HPV is a large family of viruses. HPV can cause genital warts. It can also cause changes in cervical cells. Colposcopy is also used to assess other problems. These include pain or bleeding during sexual intercourse, or a lesion on the vulva or vagina.